Bad Actors Have Stolen More Than $100,000,000 Worth of NFTs Since Last Year: Crypto Analytics Firm


New data from a prominent crypto intelligence firm is revealing that criminals have stolen over a hundred million dollars worth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) since last year.

According to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, over $100 million worth of NFTs have been reported stolen between July 2021 and July 2022, with July of this year being the highest month on record, meaning that NFT-related scams have not slowed down despite the latest crypto winter.

“Over $100 million worth of NFTs were publicly reported as stolen through scams between July 2021 and July 2022, netting perpetrators $300,000 per scam on average. July 2022 saw over 4,600 NFTs stolen – the highest month on record – indicating that scams have not abated despite the crypto bear market.”

Elliptic finds that recently-banned crypto mixing service Tornado Cash was the primary tool of choice for bad actors as it was employed in over half of all NFT laundering cases until it was barred from being used in the United States.

“Tornado Cash, a US-sanctioned mixer, was the source of $137.6 million of crypto assets processed by NFT marketplaces and the laundering tool of choice for 52% of NFT scam proceeds before being sanctioned by OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control] in August 2022.

Its prolific use by threat actors engaging with NFTs further emphasizes the need for effective sanctions screening by NFT platforms.”

Tornado Cash was banned by the Treasury Department’s OFAC earlier this month after it was deemed a national security threat due to ties to criminal activity.

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